Vyckie Garrison has been steadily making a name for herself by launching a website and making presentations at national secular conferences on the topic of the “Quiverfull Movement”. The website is named “No Longer Quivering” and is a support service for mostly women who have managed to “escape” from the movement.
For those who don’t recognize the phrase, Quiverfull is the name given to a non-denominational group of people that seek to live a completely “biblical” life as in the Christian bible. In practice this means that they establish their families as complete patriarchies where the husband holds all the power and the wife is expected to produce as many children as possible. The most famous family in this group are the Duggers who managed to get a reality TV show contract and have been making tons of money by exploiting their family relationships and children as they extoll the Quiverfull lifestyle. They currently have 19 children. Most recently however, they have lost their show because it was discovered that one of their older children had been abusing more than one of his younger sisters and another girl from a different family. Now I may see this as a reflection of the reality of the bible given the stories about characters like Noah, but Christian types see it as a nasty embarrassment.
At this meeting we watched two different videos. In the first “The Patriarch’s Wife”, Vyckie describes her life as a quivering wife and how her marriage represented a classical abusive relationship in which her husband was acting as an abuser by simply following the patriarchal dictates of Jesus.
In the second video titled “Fertile Ground”, Vyckie goes over the basic theology of the Quiverfull movement to show how it is built on the interpretation of the bible present in many fundamentalist sects within the Christian community. The church itself lays the foundation for giving yourself up to a vision of life which was literally life threatening to Vyckie herself and destructive of the lives of many of the women caught in the cult.
All in all, a disturbing picture of what a blind commitment to religious dogma can do to families and an encouraging story of how Vyckie is seeking to help others, like herself, who wish to escape.